(1) What is hypnosis?
Definitions of hypnosis vary considerably. The following is my definition.
Hypnosis is a dual procedure between therapist and client, between therapist and patient, or between two or more consenting individuals. Using both direct and/or indirect suggestions, the therapist allows participants to become less involved in the outside world and to become more engaged in their own unique inner world. Hypnosis is not sleep. Typically, individuals feel deeply relaxed, although their inner mind is perfectly alert. It is in this zone that individuals are able to be highly suggestible to change, can resolve inner conflicts and find more adaptive ways of leading their lives. The therapist can encourage this process using content free therapy or can give suggestions that can be taken on by participants which can modify thoughts, feelings or behaviour patterns. Individuals can also learn self hypnosis which allows them to explore and control their inner environment outside the context of their personal therapy.
Psychotherapy is a treatment approach which helps people to understand their emotions and actions. It is helpful for a number of psychological disorders, but some people find that it is helpful to see a therapist at certain times of their lives because they feel that they need some support to help them cope better in their every day lives.
(2) What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
All people react in different ways. Generally, individuals feel deeply relaxed and comforted. Very quickly in the process, clients begin to breathe more deeply and close their eyes. Some clients describe the process as ‘a break from reality’. However, some individuals can spontaneously experience other phenomena. Here is a list of some of them:
- Catalepsy (automatic or induced contraction of a muscle e.g. leaning, loss of tension)
- Ideomotor Signalling (feedback on one finger)
- Amnesia (partial and total)
- Hypermnesia (N.B. course spelling was wrong; this is when there is a total recall of an experience as if it were in the here and now)
- Dissociation (splitting of awareness, detached from body parts, floating, unaware of a body part, observing yourself)
- Age Regression (recovering a memory)
- Revivification (relive memory as if one is actually there)
- Age Progression (pseudo orientation in time) (experience the future)
- Analgesia (partial eliminating of pain or feeling) & anaesthesia (total elimination of feeling)
- Hallucinations (distortions in any of the sensory modalities)
- Time Distortion (contraction and expansion-the latter is rare)
- Post Hypnotic Response (new behaviours after hypnosis/purpose of therapy)
- Abreaction (a spontaneous emotional release-anger, blushing, laughing, crying; N.B. this must not be stopped, it is only a memory)
(3) Will I be controlled during the process?
No. It is a dual process. Hypnotherapy is very different to stage hypnosis. In hypnotherapy, the control is given to the client.
(4) Will I know what is happening when I am hypnotized?
Yes. Hypnosis is not sleep. At all times you will be aware what is happening, although some people do experience time distortion.
(5) Can you prescribe drugs for me?
No. I believe that drugs, in many cases, merely manage symptoms and do not deal with the underlying causative factors responsible for the problem.
(6) Do I need to be referred and does my G.P have to know?
Many clients nowadays look on the internet and then e-mail therapists directly. In addition, it used to be the case that G.P.s were always contacted; however, nowadays, many patients prefer their G.P.s not to know. David Kraft will only write to your G.P. if you have signed a consent form and if you wish him to do so.
(7) Can everyone be hypnotized?
Yes. Some patients are only able to achieve a relatively light trance and others are able quickly to experience deeper levels (these individuals have been called hypnotic virtuosos). Some researchers have categorized the ‘state’ of hypnosis into a) light (lethargy or the hypnoidal state), b) medium (catalepsy or the moderate and intermediate state) and c) deep (somnambulism or the somnambulistic state). However, this is a long-standing debate and therapy can be achieved in most cases. However, it is important to point out that hypnosis is something very different to being engrossed in a book or driving on a motorway.
(8) How long is the treatment session?
The first consultation session is one hour; thereafter, sessions are fifty minutes.
(9) Can children benefit from hypnotherapy?
Yes. Many children are able to become engrossed in story telling and can make profound, adaptive changes in their lives.
(10) Do you accept claims from insurance companies?
Most clients are self paying, although David Kraft is registered with PruHealth and BUPA.
(11) How long will the treatment last?
This depends on each person. Some clients will come for weekly sessions and others will come for a shorter period of time.
(12) Can I be cured in one session?
Most patients require more than one session, although some highly motivated clients can achieve excellent results in a very short period of time.
(13) What is PTSD?
David Kraft has spent a great deal of time researching post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a condition in which the individual experiences intrusive re-enactments of traumatic event(s) of the past. Patients are consumed with this fear of the past: some and will often ruminate about these past events throughout the day, others will be sensitive to noise and interactions with other people in their every day lives. Many of these sounds and actions in some way represent traumatic episodes of a past traumatic event or events. Patients are often traumatized by these stimuli at night: they experience nightmares and night terrors or other sleep disturbances which centre symbolically or latently around the event. Any stimuli related to the trauma are often avoided. Often, patients suffering from this condition wil avoid previously enjoyed activities and will dissociate themselves from the event. PTSD is associated with a defence mechanism–namely, detachment.
PTSD occurs after one specific traumatic event or after prolonged and relentless stress over a long period of time. In most cases patients with this condition have experienced the following:
threatened death, abuse, attack, disorganized or agitated behaviour, helplessness and/or intense fear.
PTSD should be treated with extreme care. The method of choice is psychotherapy combined with hypnotherapy.
(14) What do I do if I can’t afford sessions in Harley Street?
David Kraft offers concessional rates for people who are struggling financially; for example, those who are unemployed or retired. The usual rate in Harley Street is £170 and the lower rate is £150.
In addition, he offers sessions in Enfield at the reduced rate of £100; he also provides telephone counselling sessions at £80. There are additional reductions in price for those who don’t have much money to spend and for the retired. However, the best rate per session in Enfield is £80.